If the recent figures revealed by the BBC are anything to go by, medical negligence claims represent increasingly big business in the UK.
More specifically, the NHS is currently faced with the prospect of paying out £4.3 billion in legal fees to settle outstanding claims of clinical negligence, with the public healthcare provider currently receiving an average of 10,000 new claims every year.
If you feel as though you’re entitled to receive compensation and want to make a claim, however, it’s imperative that you’re able to provide solicitors with the necessary evidence and documentation to support your version of events. Here are some of the key considerations to keep in mind:
What Need to be Proven and by Who?
Before you get started with this process, we’d always recommend that you liaise with reputable medical negligence solicitors in order to focus your efforts and ensure that you’re making informed decisions at every stage of the process.
As a general rule, however, you’ll need to meet a number of criteria if your medical negligible claim is to be successful. Firstly, you’ll have to prove that you received unacceptable care or a breach of duty, from a trusted healthcare provider such as the NHS.
Secondly, you’ll have to demonstrate that you suffered pain, suffering, injury, financial loss or damage, while also documenting a direct link between the quality of care that you received and the subsequent hardship that you endured.
The latter point can be particularly challenging, as causation may be hard to prove for people with existing or ongoing health conditions that also impact directly on their wellbeing.
It’s also important to note that the burden of proof remains solely with the injured person, who must provide evidence and documentation to support their claim and satisfy all of the above criteria.
How Can You Prove Your Negligence Claim?
Fortunately, you can rely on a number of different sources to prove instances of medical negligence, but identifying the right documentation is absolutely key.
One excellent way of supporting your claim is through your medical records, which can be provided to holders free of charge under the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Crucially, medical records are written in real-time and before any compensation case is even on the radar. Medical professionals are also bound by a duty of candor to produce honest records, making them a reliable and trusted witness in a court of law.
Witness statements can also be used to support your claim, whether you provide these yourself or from others involved in the incident or subsequent aftermath. Your own statement is particularly key to explaining the impact of the incident, while courts also look particularly favorably on expert testament provided by medical professionals.
The same principle can be applied to medical expert reports, which can be supplied independently by authorities in instances where the Defendant refuses to admit accountability for your injuries.
This type of evidence can prove highly supportive, as it’s highly objective and drawn from a trusted expert source.